For local broadcasters, facility-wide asset management sounds like a great idea, but the disparate needs of a broadcast facility, particularly the requirements of the newsroom vs. those of traffic and playout, can make that difficult.
For example, commercial spots can reside on tape or optical disc while the material used to create newscasts requires an online video server to enable multiple users to access the content quickly. That involves creating proxy versions of content, low-resolution and low-bandwidth copies that can be pushed and pulled around a facility more easily. The proxies, in turn, have metadata ties into the high-resolution version. And, as different users tie into the system, the metadata ideally offers a constant update on who is doing what with which asset.
Tom Yuhas, Sony Electronics director, data systems solutions, media and applications solutions division, says that optical-disc systems, VTRs and an automated data-tape library all play a role in ingesting material into the online-server environment. The server handles initial processing of metadata and moves proxy video and segments to nearline storage on optical disc and servers. Hierarchical storage-management applications also play a role, moving content between the server and a data-tape library after the useful life of the material has past. But the key is making sure that a facility's applications—editing, graphics, playout—can all access the metadata related to the content stored in the backroom.
"Metadata is unusable without applications to ingest, catalog, index and search it," says Al Kovalick, Pinnacle Systems chief technology officer, broadcast and professional division. "We've constructed a metadata registry and application server to perform those functions."